Sunspots: The Nixon-to-China edition 37signals 01 Aug 2006

7 comments Latest by Joe

The Coolest Small Company in America
"The environment is, indeed, ZCoB's most striking feature, combining a strong sense of community, a deep belief in people, a fascination with management and business, and a passion for great food and great service. It's an entrepreneurial environment in which good ideas become real businesses, and employees with good ideas have an opportunity to become owners. More to the point, it's an environment that many can't resist."
Pitchy by mocking up the future
When Pentagram was pitching Ted, they mocked up fake articles from the WSJ and showed them during the pitch. Ryan Freitas writes, "The first was a reminder of just how late United was entering into the market against established LCOs like Southwest and Song. The second was after they'd presented their recommendation - an article lauding United for it's bravery in pursuing a compelling and unique identity in the LCO space. I think one of the most effective things we can do for ourselves and our clients is to start mocking up the future."
Wonkette's Ingredients for a Successful Blog
"I think that we're probably going to see that the individual, strong-personality blog is not going to be at the forefront, because group blogs are going to be able to do what people expect of blogs better."
Flickr's most popular photographer
She was recently hired to shoot and appear in ads for Toyota, which discovered her work via Flickr.
Wal-Mart sees green
"The potential here is to democratize the whole sustainability idea - not make it something that just the elites on the coasts do but something that small-town and middle America also embrace. It's a Nixon-to-China moment."
The Brand Underground
"We no longer live in a world of the Mainstream and the Counterculture. We live in a world of multiple mainstreams and countless counter-, sub- and counter-sub-cultures...This is the quintessence of the postmodern brand rebel, hopscotching the minefield of creativity and commerce, recognizing the categorization, satirizing it, embracing it and commoditizing it all at once."
Street-fashion blogs keep tabs on the world's most stylish pedestrians
"The best of these sites capture the joys of people-watching and offer an experience that's more like lounging on a park bench than flipping through a fashion magazine."
Adaptive Path interviews author Steven Johnson
"Obviously, there's much more audio and video online today, but the medium — and its new interfaces — are still mostly about doing things with words."
25 performers and artists are building rafts and floating down the Mississippi River
"Together we float down the Mississippi river, as far as we can — all the way to St. Louis — anchoring here and there to perform, give workshops, and create the big huge stinking spectacle we wished would have stopped in our hometowns. And at each place we invite anyone to contribute performances or workshops of their own."
Messing with Craigslist scammers
Last week I put my Samsung X820 phone up on Craigslist, trying to unload it for about $400 because the reception sucked on it. Got a few real inquiries, and a lot of ones that were obviously scams. The last one I got — which was today — was too good to not mess with the person.
Video: Dancing Mom
"If you catch someone dancing by themselves to a song, you have to tape it and post it on the Internet. Even if it is your mom."

7 comments so far (Jump to latest)

matt 01 Aug 06

Zingerman’s is / has been an interesting company. The past year or so they’ve started to lose some of the nice smaller bits they had (the employee discount for lunch isn’t as nice as it was…they started a full service restaurant that just isn’t as tasty). On the other hand, the food @ the deli and the bits from the bakehouse really are awesome (sharyl and amy are the bomb)

FAA 01 Aug 06

“Zingerman’s” and “small company” just don’t look right together anymore. They’re 8 businesses spread out in nearly as many buildings throughout my town - soon to be 9 if this wedding planning thing takes off. 7 guys making a sports car is small, and 7 guys building web apps is small as well, but a conglomerate of 8 or 9 companies has to at least be medium.

Also, I believe Matt may be mistaken - the full service restaurant is top notch.

Full disclaimer: I eat at Zingerman’s deli far too many times per week, and they are definitely my favorite medium company.

Hubris Sonic 01 Aug 06

Wonkette is an idiot. Only in D.C. can someone make a living on blogging about anal sex. And her book was god awful, i wasnt able to finish it, and there are very few books i couldnt finish.

Hubris Sonic 01 Aug 06

hmmm… okay that was pretty trollish. sorry. but then her stock and trade is snark and snide comments, right?

whats good for the goose eh wot!

right… i’m off…

Todd 01 Aug 06

Interestingly, the Zingerman’s model seems to be similar to the 37s model - give people a sample and they’ll probably buy it. I love going to the deli, bakehouse and creamery because of the infectious passion for food that Zing’s employees have. One of the rare places that makes you feel good about spending $36/lb for cheese and $12 for a loaf of bread.

brad 02 Aug 06

From the Inc. article on Zingerman’s:

In 1982, Weinzweig founded Zingerman’s Delicatessen with Paul Saginaw, who is still his partner. Over the next 10 years, the deli became world famous — and then hit a wall. Faced with the choice of changing the company or letting it stagnate, the partners came up with an ingenious strategy that has allowed them to retain the best aspects of small-business life while enjoying the benefits and challenges of growth.

I would be a lot more impressed with a small business that “hits a wall” and stays there, happily, without a bunch of M.B.A.’s jumping in to pursue endless growth. There are just as many benefits and challenges to maintaining a good thing and making it even better as there are to growing it.

Joe 02 Aug 06

Bleh, I can’t stand Wonkette.